The following amazing interview appeared in last weeks Sha’ah Tovah Magazine, and was given exclusively to YWN:
The Plan: To Bomb the Twin Towers
Aharon Klein grew up in Philadelphia and studied in a Chabad school, continuing on to Yeshiva University, where he began his career in journalism.
“Actually, I really should have become a doctor. I studied chemistry and intended to continue on to medical school, but when I got to university, I began to take an interest in what was going on around me, meaning politics and current events. At one point, the editor of the YU student newspaper asked me to write him an article on a subject of my choice, and it received a very positive response, which encouraged me to keep on writing. Eventually, I myself became the editor-in-chief.
“After graduating, I continued my education in London, where I became fascinated by the world of terrorism. This, incidentally, was long before the Twin Towers attack. There I met up with a group of Moslem students affiliated with Bin Laden’s Al Qaida. I cannot fathom why they agreed to talk to me, and very freely at that, especially since I never hid the fact that I’m Jewish, and even arrived at their meetings wearing my black kippah.
“I spent several days together with them, during which I gained a good grasp of their mentality, as they expressed their views very naturally and freely. Bin Laden’s name came up, I recall, and they boasted that his next target was going to be something very major in the U.S. because America is such a big supporter of Israel, and Zionism and is no better than the Jews themselves.
“I was very excited about this scoop, and rushed out to publicize it in the leading American papers – but nobody in the defense hierarchy took any serious notice of the threat. A year passed, during which Bin Laden’s men made painstaking preparations for the mega-disaster. The U.S. was, quite naturally, shocked and mortified.”
As for Klein himself, this was the begin of a ‘career’ of liaison work between extremist Moslems and the Western world, acting as a transmitter for their messages, however improbable it sounds. Then he discovered another way in which his journalistic talents could serve his people – the Jewish people.
In the United States during the Disengagement, Klein was greatly disturbed by the way Israeli current events were being portrayed in the media. There were a number of factors upon which to pin the blame, and Israel itself wasn’t entirely innocent.
“Looking at the pictures that were being shown, the images they were presenting, I realized that they contained a large amount of bias and anti-Semitism. But it was also clear that Israel’s public relations were very weak – they weren’t doing anywhere near all they could to try and rectify the situation. Right then and there I decided to do something about it. I felt that I was in a unique position to be able to help, to serve as a spokesman for the truth, to get it out there.”
Klein packed his bags and moved to Gush Katif. “At first, when they saw my kippah, the army wouldn’t let me enter the area.” Shortly before the Disengagement, the border with the Gaza Strip was virtually sealed, with only permanent residents allowed transit, since the government feared that large numbers of right-wingers would attempt to enter the area in order to later resist the forced evacuation.
“They cross-examined me as if I were a terrorist, but when they discovered exactly who I was, and what was my agenda, they allowed me to move in. I lived there for eight months, until the evacuation, during which time I interviewed the Jews living there, as well as many others throughout the country, politicians and leaders of movements and organizations. I sent my articles to News Focus for ABC – they gave me a permanent slot.”
Crossing Borders to the Arab World
Today, Klein manages the desk of the World Net Daily, continuing his ambassadorial work for the Jewish people across the world.
“After the Disengagement, I said to myself that the time had come to interview the other side as well. I was sent as part of a team to interview the Syrian president, Bashar Assad, and other top men in his government. I received permission to enter the country and had all my documents in order, but when I arrived at the Syrian border with Jordan, the Syrian ambassador told me in no uncertain terms that I wouldn’t be allowed to enter his country with the rest of the delegation.
“They refused to tell my why, even though my papers had already been approved, but when I pressed them, they admitted that it was because I was a Jew.”
Klein’s family has been living in the U.S. for the past five generations and it was the Syrian embassy in Washington that processed his visa. He missed out on the interview with Assad but later continued on to Lebanon with the delegation, where he experienced no problems entering the country. Furthermore, Lebanese officials criticized Syria for not having allowed him entry. A leading politician even suggested that Klein sue the Syrians!
“Syria is under international attack, and should have done everything possible to extricate itself and clear its name, even going as far as meeting with the Israeli head of state. Their
refusal to extend a visa to Klein shows how stupidly they run their country,” a high-ranking Lebanese official stated. Klein took full advantage of the momentum and wiggled his way into Lebanese favor. This major breakthrough paved the way for additional interviews with top figures in the Moslem world and Hamas circles.
“Why Blow Yourself Up?”
One of the most fascinating interviews in Klein’s career took place with a suicide bomber from Jenin, during a period of rampant shahidism. He was very curious to know what went on in the head of a Shiite man before departing on a mission to end his own life along with those of as many others as possible. Thanks to his connections with top figures in the Moslem world, he was able to arrange an interview with a future suicide bomber who had already been fully prepped and was only waiting for the green light.
“I arrived in Jenin, at a one story building slightly set away from the street. There a young man of twenty-three awaited me. To my surprise, he wasn’t masked, but we were not given permission to photograph him. At his side was his ‘trainer,’ the man who had enlisted him and coached him, as he had previously done for many other suicide candidates. He constantly monitored the interview, censoring some of the questions which he refused to let his protégé answer.
“To tell the truth,” Klein admits, “I was surprised at the whole set-up, having been certain that this future suicider who had agreed to be interviewed would come masked, for after all, I am only an American journalist, and a Jew to boot, all of which his superiors knew in advance. My team members had their cameras poised but the elderly ‘coach’ told us we couldn’t shoot. He was clearly the one who was responsible for everything going smoothly, from the moment of enlisting the young man, till the eventual ‘success’ of the mission, R”l.
“The interview proceeded routinely, including all the gory details. This was the very first time that a terrorist about to blow himself up was agreeing to be interviewed for any type of media.
“I began with routine, superficial questions, trying to build up the profile of a suicidal terrorist. He told me that he was a student of history and religion who also practiced judo. He revealed that he came from a middle class family with a decent income and that he was engaged to be married.
“By this time, I was ready to spring the main question: ‘If you’re about to get married and you are happy with your life, why do you want to blow yourself to bits?’
“It was clear that he had been anticipating this. ‘I decided to become a shahid after I saw how the Israeli army treated Lebanese refugees in 2002, when they murdered 500 of them in cold blood, including innocent women and children. I became even more determined to become a martyr when I learned what glory I would have in paradise if I would sacrifice myself for Allah’s sake. Whenever one of our people blows himself up in a terrorist act, I pray for him and I also pray that Allah should send me to the same place that he will occupy in the world to come. I actually envy him for being able to draw so close to Allah,’ he concluded.
“I asked him if Allah was his sole motivation. Yes, it definitely was. He explained that Allah enabled Moslems to draw increasingly closer to him by sacrificing their bodies for his sake. I
tried to shake his logic. I told him that the prevailing image of a suicide bomber in the U.S. and the whole world, for that matter, was of someone coming from a poor, disadvantaged family, someone with a difficult past and present who has nothing to gain by living. He protested vehemently.
“ ‘My goal is to draw closer to Allah. The Zionists captured our land and want to rule the entire world and over our religion. Our job is to kill them, which is the only way to come closer to Allah and find favor in his eyes. I am not being brainwashed and have no pressure being exerted on me. It is a free decision of mine and it is false to think otherwise, as Israeli propaganda would like people to believe. My only motive is to do the will of Allah and gain my promised reward,’ he declared very passionately.”
Klein then threw a fast ball. “Do I understand that your main objective is not to kill Jews but to come closer to Allah?” The Arab clarified, “My will is to please Allah. Even if I had been born in Pakistan or anywhere else, that is what I would aim to do. Since I live in the Middle East, the way to please him is by fighting the Zionists. The most important thing is my readiness to sacrifice myself for his sake.”
“Are you saying that because you know I am a Jew, and you don’t want to admit that your purpose is to kill Jews?”
He didn’t lose his cool. “I was never taught to hate Jews for their Judaism. I was taught to do the will of Allah, which is to fight the enemies of Islam. Today, those enemies are the Americans and the Israelis who appropriated our land through their lies and seek to rule over the whole world and impose their religion on everyone. We are obligated to stop them, and to fight them along with anyone who supports them.”
Klein continued to bait him. “You’re talking about murdering Jews? I’m an American Jew. Do you want to kill me, too?”
“You’re my guest. So long as you are here, you can drink your tea without qualms; nothing will happen to you. But when you return to your country, if I am ordered to blow up a place
where you happen to be and I learn that you were among those killed, I won’t shed any tears. You’ve got to understand that before I blow myself up, I will take leave of my family and
the people close to me. But I will certainly not feel sorry for a man I met only once who was killed through my actions. From my point of view, the Americans are full partners with the
conquering Jews. They support them, give them arms, and in our eyes, share the same status as the Jews.”
Klein then asked the shahid which Israeli politician he would like to see as prime minister. He thought for a moment, then declared very emphatically that in his opinion, they were all the same, though Bibi was the worst. “ ‘Tzippi Livni, Ehud Barak, and Shimon Peres are no better,’ he added. When I asked him about American politicians, he said that the Moslems favor Obama and even prayed for his victory, because he understood the Moslem problem best and he would be the one to show the Zionist Jews who was right.”
“You’re Descended from Pigs and Monkeys”
“Then I asked him, what about the Moslem belief that Jews are descended from pigs and monkeys? He replied in a matter-offact way; ‘I know that it says in the Koran that when the Jews refused to obey Moses and didn’t keep the commandments of Allah, he cursed them to be like pigs and monkeys. I don’t know if he actually turned them into those animals but I do know that he was angry at them and that you Jews distort and falsify your Torah.’
“ ‘I know that the Koran calls upon all Moslems to do the will of Allah and if they disobey, he will punish them through their enemies, who will capture their land and destroy them. This
is why I pray so fervently that I be called upon to carry out my holy mission,’ he continued, calmly and candidly.”
Klein asked him if his family knew of his decision.
“No,” he replied. “I don’t want them to pressure me against my will. My family loves me and I love them but I know that if they hear that I was involved in preparing a bombing and that I was killed in the process, they won’t be surprised. I am sure they will be proud of me…”
We ask Klein how they managed to communicate – surely this young Arab man didn’t know English?
“I only speak English, no Arabic,” he tells us. “Most politicians and leaders that I interview from the Moslem world are educated people and all speak fluent English. This interview was carried on with simultaneous translation. This was one of the most interesting interviews I ever conducted, but I have also spoken with many other terrorists and Moslem leaders who all declared very explicitly that they have no intention of recognizing the Jewish state. And even if it were decided to have ‘two countries for two nations,’ they see this as only a temporary solution, for the coming decade, at most, during which time some other solution will be found, like a Jewish transfer.
“From the viewpoint of terrorists and their leaders, the goal is to reclaim the captured land, in its entirety. The Jews will have no problem living under Palestinian rule, they say,” Klein explains.
Klein has published a book in which he has documented his interviews with terrorists, which has become an international best seller. Today, he mans the Israeli desk as a very sought-after journalist for News Focus and ABC, interviewing Moslem leaders throughout the world in a regular program which enjoys a very high rating.